Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage named after D.S. Likhachev (Moscow, Russia); PhD (Dr.Sc.) in Cultural Studies, Senior Research Fellow, Head of geocultural regional policy; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GEOCULTURAL BRANDING OF CITIES AND AREAS: FROM GENIUS LOCI TO IMAGE RESOURCES
Geo-cultural regional policy is associated with the actualization of the real identity of communities, people and events that can convert and transform the real image of the city. It should be focused on people and not on tangible or intangible objects. This is its essential difference from traditional regional policy.
Geo-cultural branding of an area is not a traditional branding area that exists in western branding and marketing formats and is now developing on Russian soil. This activity is related to the cultivation areas of images, which are important for the cohesion of territorial communities. It can be a non-profit or commercial, but, anyway, the main purpose of geo-cultural branding cannot be initially commercial, it is focused not on profit but on the development of the identity of the city (and wider – regional) communities and the events that actualize the image of the city.
At the end of XX – the beginning XXI centuries the concept of genius loci has become part of popular culture, one of the tools for development of tourism and marketing of areas, used in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. As part of humanitarian geography the concept of “genius loci” is semantically correlated with the notions of cultural landscape as an object of heritage, local (spatial) myth, symbolic topography, geographical image. Particularly productive this notion in research on literature, geography, geography and the geography of aesthetic art, landscape architecture and garden art.
Characteristics of image resources of cities and territories in the context of geo-cultural branding should include an analysis of the possibilities of using space imagery of geniuses and specific representations of these images within geocultural regional policy.
Keywords: geoculture, geo-cultural area branding, image resources, local myth, image of the territory, image and geographical development, territorial identity, genius loci.